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A short animated film produced for Rochdale Council about the 5 Ways to Wellbeing. Animation company Kilogramme worked with Rochdale teenagers to explore what the 5 ways to wellbeing mean to them, using their lives and their ideas.
Change4Life aims to help Key Stage 1 and 2 pupils understand the benefits of eating healthily and living a more active lifestyle. It’s important that children eat well and do plenty of physical activity to build a healthy body. If they’re carrying too much fat, it can build up in their bodies over time, raising their risk of life-threatening diseases like cancer, type 2 diabetes and heart disease in later life. In this booklet you’ll find hints, tips and lesson ideas to challenge, engage and motivate children while they learn the importance of eating healthily and being physically active.
Participating in physical activity and experiencing nature both play an important role in positively influencing our health and wellbeing. Yet, physical activity levels have dropped dramatically, and inactivity results in 1.9 million deaths worldwide annually, roughly one in 25 of all deaths. The costs of inactivity in the UK are £8.3 billion per year, equating to £5 million for each PCT. It is also well established that exposure to natural places can lead to positive mental health outcomes, whether a view of nature from a window, being within natural places or exercising in these environments. Green space is important for mental wellbeing, and levels of interaction/engagement have been linked with longevity and decreased risk of mental ill-health across a number of countries.
The Children’s Society and the University of York research report on children’s subjective well-being 2015 reviews progress that has been made in understanding how children feel about their lives and also to consider how this understanding can be put to practical use in order to improve the lives of children in the future. Its findings follow up previous reports over the last 10 years. In an international comparison of children's happiness in 15 countries, the report concluded that children in England were unhappier with their school experience than their peers in 11 other countries.
Research has shown that the amount and quality of social connections with people around us are vitally important to an individual’s well-being and should be considered when making any assessment of National Well-being.This article focuses on people’s relationships with both family and friends. However, these relationships do not operate in isolation, and relationships within the wider community and the workplace are also analysed. The ONS Measuring National Well-being programme aims to produce accepted and trusted measures of the well-being of the nation - how the UK as a whole is doing. A Report Chris Randall, Office for National Statistics.
This report describes the outcomes of a research study conducted jointly by The Children’s Society and NEF (New Economics Foundation) which explores activities that children can do themselves that might be linked to increased feelings of well-being. The Children’s Society, which has been involved in a child-centred well-being research programme since 2005, was interested to explore the extent to which NEF's 'Five Ways to Wellbeing' framework might also be relevant to children. The research involved two components: 1. A survey of 1500 children aged 10 to 15 which asked about time spent on various activities and about levels of subjective well-being 2. Eleven focus groups with around 90 children aged eight to 15 which explored their ideas about various activities which might promote their well-being.
If you're an avid sports fan or player, you're all too familiar with the inevitable heartbreak that comes with the love of your team. You can easily get lost in the game. Your team's losses are your losses. Their errors are your errors. Despite these "lows," research suggests that both playing and watching sports ultimately really do make us happier. We love rooting for the underdogs. Not to mention that getting involved with a team as a kid can help with depression risk and low self-esteem. Happify, a website and app dedicated to helping people build skills for happiness through science-based activities and games, broke down all the ways sports can benefit our lives, in this infographic.
Connections is a practical and reflective resource for early childhood educators to guide you in supporting children’s mental health and wellbeing. It is intended for use by educators who care for children (birth to eight years) in a range of settings including Long Day Care, Family Day Care, Preschool and Out of School Hours Care. Positive mental health in early childhood is critical for children’s wellbeing and development in the present (being); and it also has important implications for their future (becoming). Children who are supported in their mental health and wellbeing in early childhood have a strong foundation for developing the skills, values and behaviours they need to experience positive physical and mental health as an adult. They are more likely to reach a higher level of education; attain and retain employment; build healthy and satisfying relationships; and participate actively in the community. This benefits both individuals and the communities in which they live. Research into supporting children’s mental health and wellbeing in the early years has grown rapidly over the past 20 years. As researchers learn more about the brain and how it develops in early childhood, our understanding of how to improve long-term outcomes for children expands.
‘Parents want their children to be happy and positive about the future. But at times, the huge range of advice from parenting manuals, friends, family and other places can be overwhelming. ‘What make this guide different is that it’s influenced by the people that really know what they’re talking about – children themselves. It’s based on interviews with thousands of children about what makes them happy with their lives. ‘And the good news is that most of it is very straightforward. It’s about taking time to talk – and listen – to our children, showing them warmth, keeping them active and learning, letting them hang out with friends and explore their local environment.’
This report presents compelling evidence that we as a nation, and especially our children, are exhibiting the symptoms of a modern phenomenon known as ‘Nature Deficit Disorder’. We look at what this disorder is costing us, why it’s proving so difficult to reverse, and gather current thinking on what we must do to eliminate it, before opening up the question to the nation for consideration. It is important to state from the beginning that this is not an anachronistic lament on modernity. The benefits of modern technology are many; and to cry out for the return of some mythical golden age would be as ineffective as it would be misguided. Instead, this report is a call to arms to ensure that as we move forward, we do so while retaining what is most precious and gives life most meaning. As Octavia Hill, one of the founders of the National Trust, observed over 100 years ago, ‘the sight of sky and things growing are fundamental needs, common to all men.’ The lengthening shadow of what has been termed Nature Deficit Disorder threatens the fulfilment of that need; we must turn the tide.
Chaired by former minister for mental health, Paul Burstow MP, the CentreForum Mental Health Commission concludes its 12 month study on the state of wellbeing in England by identifying five key priorities between now and 2020. The Commission's final report titled 'The pursuit of happiness' calls on policymakers to: • Establish the mental wellbeing of the nation or the “pursuit of happiness” as a clear and measurable goal of government. • Roll out a National Wellbeing Programme to promote mutual support, self-care and recovery, and reduce the crippling stigma that too often goes hand in hand with mental ill health. • Prioritise investment in the mental health of children and young people right from conception. • Make places of work mental health friendly with government leading the way as an employer. • Better equip primary care to identify and treat mental health problems, closing the treatment gap that leaves one in four of the adult population needlessly suffering from depression and anxiety and 1-2% experiencing a severe mental illness such as schizophrenia. The report also calls for parity of funding for mental health which currently receives 13% of NHS spend in England but accounts for 23% of demand. It is estimated that £13 billion is overspent every year on dealing with the physical health consequences of this unmet need.
The Good Childhood Report 2014 contains new findings from the ground breaking, nine-year programme of research on children’s well-being, involving around 50,000 children. This work is carried out in collaboration with the University of York and has become the most extensive national research programme on children’s subjective well-being in the world. The objective of each report is to focus on children’s subjective well-being, drawing on the most recent evidence available for the UK, plus some comparative findings from other countries.
This report presents evidence to build the case for improving the play opportunities of children and young people. Its focus is on children of school age, and on free play that takes place out of doors. It looks at quantitative evidence of the wider outcomes and impact of play interventions and initiatives. Hence it complements rather than duplicates other recent policy reviews. The report looks at four types of intervention that each involve setting aside time and space for children to play: improving opportunities for free play in school break times, unstaffed public play facilities, supervised out-of-school play provision and street play initiatives. The vast majority of relevant studies and evaluations of interventions focus on play in school. However, findings from school-based studies have wider relevance, so this report also draws wider conclusions from these findings. Playground break time initiatives are amongst the most promising interventions for improving levels of physical activity, as shown by a number of recent authoritative systematic reviews. They are also linked to a range of improvements in academic skills, attitudes and behaviour, and to improved social skills, improved social relations between different ethnic groups, and better adjustment to school life.
The research has shown that a significant minority of children in the UK have low levels of well-being. This will have severe impact on their childhood and life chances, as well as on the families and communities around them, and the agencies that support them. They also now know that policy makers can do something about this. The evidence shows that external factors play a major role in determining children’s life satisfaction and life chances. From this evidence, we have identified six priorities that promote positive well-being for children and can make a real difference to their lives. The six priorities for children’s well-being are: 1. The conditions to learn and develop 2. A positive view of themselves and an identity that is respected 3. Have enough of what matters 4. Positive relationships with family and friends 5. A safe and suitable home environment and local area 6. Opportunity to take part in positive activities to thrive
This booklet is aimed at parents and carers of primary-aged children to help support them in talking with their child about relationships and sexual wellbeing. Everyone in Scotland should have the opportunity to have positive and respectful relationships and talking is a great place to start. Some parents/carers feel uncomfortable talking about relationships and sex with their children. Don’t worry; this booklet will help you. Thinking about the questions your child might ask you will help you prepare and make these chats less daunting.
Children’s well-being is a key dimension of sustainable development and social resilience; it is about our present and our future. It requires recognition as a central building block of the European policy agenda. In Europe we do not invest enough in our children. The European Union does not have a children’s policy- nor do many countries. Children have weak or no political representation and most countries and institutions do not offer children and young people the opportunity to have their voice heard and participate in decision-making. Children and youth are particularly hard hit by the financial insecurities in present day Europe – their future is at stake. But we should not continue as in the past and we do not need more of the same. Most societies are not creative and daring enough in affecting changes for the well-being of children. We require a vibrant debate on what childhood means at the beginning of the 21st century. We need to radically shift our mindsets and transform how we think about children, learning, health, education and society. We are advocating for a paradigm shift that will: - Consider children as competent partners, nurturing personal responsibility more than compliance - Understand learning not only as a cognitive, but as an integral process with many dimensions. - Move from disease and treatment centred healthcare to promoting health and well-being. - Move from standardized education to child centred education. - Move from sectoral to systemic solutions in policy and society. There is no policy maker that does not underscore the sentenced “children are our future – we must invest in them”. Yet the action that is needed rarely follows, despite the negative economic and social consequences for individuals, communities and society at large.
This report reveals that youngers teenagers have lower well-being than other age groups in most aspects of their lives. The findings come from our eight-year, ground-breaking programme of research, in collaboration with the University of York, to explore and measure children’s subjective well-being. This is the second in our series of annual reports to outline what we know about the quality of children’s lives – as rated by children themselves. What does the report say? So far, we have run surveys and consultations with over 42,000 children aged eight and above. 
The World Family Map Project seeks both to monitor the health of family life around the globe and to learn more about how family trends affect the well-being of children. The family is a core social institution that occupies a central place in the lives of men, women, and children around the world: It is a source of support, and sometimes an obstacle, to individual and collective achievements; a unit of economic production and consumption; an emotional haven that can sometimes be a source of emotional strain; and a vehicle for extending caregiving and culture across the generations, for better and for worse.
In 2008, the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (RWJF) convened the Commission to Build a Healthier America to help us find better ways to improve the health of our nation. The Commission—a national, nonpartisan group of leaders from both the public and private sectors—issued 10 sweeping recommendations aimed at improving the health of all Americans. The Commission’s work sparked a national conversation that has led to a marked increase in collaboration among a wide variety of partners aimed at addressing the many determinants of health. Eager to build upon this progress, RWJF asked the Commissioners to come together again. This year, the Commission tackled immensely complex matters that underlie profound differences in the health of Americans: experiences in early childhood; opportunities that communities provide for people to make healthy choices; and the mission and incentives of health professionals and health care institutions. They found that to improve the health of all Americans we must: 1) Invest in the foundations of lifelong physical and mental well-being in our youngest children. 2) Create communities that foster health-promoting behaviors. 3) Broaden health care to promote health outside of the medical system.
We shouldn’t underestimate the vast importance of fathers in children’s lives, not only because children ‘need and love their dads’ , but also because of the significant impact that fathers have on the social, cognitive, emotional and physical well-¬‐being of children from infancy to adolescence and with lasting influences into their adult life. This summary of evidence is based on a review of literature to parenting and children more generally, the review focused on evidence relating specifically to the influence of fathers and father figures.
Which groups in our society are flourishing? Are there inequalities, and if so, what are they and when in the life course do they emerge? Wellbeing matters. For a long time social research and policy have been focused on counting negative outcomes and deficits, rather than measuring and developing positive assets. Not only is a high level o wellbeing a positive end in itself, it has also been found to predict living longer and living without disability. This report focuses on factors that are amenable to policy intervention. We know that genes and very early childhood experiences are critical to wellbeing in later life. However, policy makers need to know what factors to prioritise now, to help people function well and fell good throughout their lives.
Each year, the Foundation for Child Development and The Child and Youth Well-being Index Project at Duke University issue a comprehensive measure of how children are faring in the United States. The resultant National Child and Youth Wellbeing Index (CWI) is based on a composite of 28 key Indicators of Well-being, grouped into seven Quality-of-Life / Well-Being Domains. These Domains are: Family Economic Well-being, Safe/Ricky Behavior, Social Relationships, Emotional/Spiritual Well-Being, Community Engagement, Educational Attainment, and Health. This year’s report highlights: long-term trends in the CWI, in its seven Domains, and I its 28 Key Indicators, 1975-2012.
The 2013 KIDS COUNT Data Book provides a detailed picture of how children are faring in the United States. In addition to ranking states on overall child well-being, the Data Book ranks states in four domains: Economic Well-Being, Education, Health, and Family and Community.
The State of Happiness brings together four years of groundbreaking work based on in-depth pilots – from teaching resilience to children in schools to promoting neighbourliness – with three councils in very different areas of the country: Manchester, Hertfordshire and South Tyneside.This report from the Young Foundation and Local Government and Improvement highlights that promoting and influencing happiness is no longer an airy aspiration. As the recession forces difficult public spending choices, services focused on wellbeing are delivering widespread economic and social benefits – especially to children.
One of the key aims of a democratic government is to promote the good life: a flourishing society, where citizens are happy, healthy, capable and engaged – in other words with high levels of well-being. But in prioritising economic growth at all costs, government has lost sight of this ultimate aim. This manisto seeks to put well-being back at the centre of policymaking.
Parenting and wellbeing: knitting families together argues that parenting support often fails because it ignores the wellbeing of parents themselves. The report draws on extensive national and international research, and a detailed investigation of parenting support in three very different parts of England: Hertfordshire, South Tyneside and Manchester. It recommends a range of approaches including involving parents, carers and children and young people in the design of family support. The government should establish a fund to encourage innovation in parenting support for projects aimed at all parents, not just those facing acute problems.
This document sets out research and recommendations for a school-based approach to promote emotional wellbeing amongst children and young people in Buckinghamshire. It focuses on supporting schools and local agencies to promote mental health interventions to boost mental wellbeing of children and young people and reduce the likelihood of poor mental health outcomes. Our research with practitioners, children and young people in Buckinghamshire highlighted seven key themes, which are addressed in this document. We have recommended activities and interventions to support these themes. In addition, each recommendation is linked to the five ways to wellbeing. ‘Examples from elsewhere’ highlight interventions that have been developed and delivered across the country. In considering what could be done in Buckinghamshire, the research gave rise to a number of underpinning principles, which point the way to increased wellbeing for children and young people.
Backing the Future provides the economic and social case for transforming the way we invest in the future of society through our children. The report makes clear the need for a comprehensive investment programme in preventative services for children and young people that would both save spending on dealing with the impact of problems later, and deliver wider benefits to society. To achieve lasting change, Backing the Future demonstrates why it is essential to address the impact of the structural factors affecting the circumstances of children’s lives, such as poverty and inequality, together with psychological and social dimensions of their well-being. We show how this can be achieved and present an economic model for how the UK Government could fund a transition to a more preventative system, therefore turning aspiration into reality.
This guide is a supplement to a larger report, Backing the Future: why investing in children is good for us all, which is the culmination of a programme of research carried out by nef and Action for Children. This guide is designed to illustrate how our call for governments to back the services that make a difference to children’s lives can be supported by improvements to commissioning practices.
This guide is a supplement to a larger report, Backing the Future: why investing in children is good for us all, which is the culmination of a programme of research carried out by nef and Action for Children. This guide explains how we can accurately measure well-being in children and young people. It looks specifically at the scope of subjective indicators (e.g., life satisfaction, optimism about the future) to complement objective indicators of well-being (e.g., child obesity, numeracy and literacy, household income) in informing us about how children experience their lives – from their own perspectives. It covers some of the practical approaches to measuring child well-being that have been implemented and it discusses some of the considerations that need to be made when designing a well-being measurement tool for children, which includes subjective indicators.